Building the Backbone: Part 2

The stem and keel are connected via a finger joint, which is strong, but not strong enough. All the force of waves hitting the bow will stress this joint, trying to push back into the boat. To further strengthen the stem, a knee is placed to transfer the load to the keel.

To fabricate this piece, a large cutoff was placed over the stem-keel junction and skewed at an angle, allowing us to create a slightly larger knee than if we used the board set ninety degrees to the joint.

A pattern was drawn on the board, giving me a guideline for the pattern to cut out of the board. I don't want to use the portions of the wood with large knots, so I sketch out a pattern that will cut out the knots and just leave clear clean wood with good grain orientation. The faying surface of the knee is verified to be square, ensuring that the stem will remain plumb. The finished knee is much smaller than the original sketch, as all the bulk simply adds weight to the bow and takes up interior volume.

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